Recreational Equipment, Inc. plans to open a new store in Kennesaw, GA this spring. Located at the intersection of I-75 and Barrett Parkway in Barrett Pavilion, the 25,500 square-foot store will feature a gear rental department to help outfit members and customers in exploring new outdoor activities, in addition to a bike shop where technicians will provide quick assemblies or repairs. The store's community space is also available for non-profit partners and employees to use for classes, presentations and events. Offering the top brands of gear and apparel for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, REI also has its own brand of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel.

“We're thrilled to open an REI store in Kennesaw and look forward to serving outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the many recreational opportunities north of Atlanta,” said Gail Kirkland, REI retail director for the South district. “In addition to our retail presence, we're partnering with nonprofit organizations in the community to help maintain and preserve areas, such as Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Lake Allatoona and Red Top Mountain State Park to ensure these areas remain beautiful and accessible for generations to come.”

Kennesaw will be the fourth REI location in Georgia, helping to serve 17,000 active co-op members within 15 miles of the new store and more than 90,000 in the Atlanta area. REI entered the Southeast region by opening stores in Atlanta in 1990 and 1995, followed by a store in Buford, Ga. in 2003.

Committed to inspiring outdoor recreation and stewardship in the communities where it operates, REI has partnered with many non-profit outdoor and conservation organizations in Georgia over the years through grants, interactive programming and volunteer opportunities. In 2007, REI awarded more than $40,000 in grants to Atlanta-area partners and coordinated more than 2,500 hours of service to improve the community's outdoor recreational areas. Examples of those partnerships include outfitting the Northwest Atlanta Council of the Girl Scouts with canoes and orienteering gear for its family outdoors program, in addition to helping the Beltline Partnership begin to reclaim unused railway corridors and produce a continuous 22-mile loop of parks, pedestrian trails and transit.

As part of REI's commitment to the Kennesaw community, the store team will partner with the Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club for a service project at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for National Trails Day on June 7, 2008. More information on the project and additional volunteer opportunities will be available on leading up to the event.